FPC Sermon 12-9-18

This entry was posted in Sermons. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • Reflecting on Holy Week

    As I write this at the end of April, I’m reflecting on the wonderful Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter services that we had at FPC, along with the two other congregations, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and St. John’s Episcopal Church. This significant week is always a spiritual blessing to me, and I hope you feel the same.

    Our Palm Sunday breakfast put on by the youth of the congregation (and their families) wasn’t a fundraiser this year but instead was a way for them to say thank you for your ongoing support of youth ministry. Bruner Hall was packed full of 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. worshipers sharing a wonderful meal together. Thank you to everyone who helped by bringing food and, in particular, to youth and their families who did the set up and clean-up work. We also had our traditional Palm Sunday procession led by the choir and Eeyore the donkey as we walked up 2nd West to the sanctuary entrance. Yes, the donkey is named Eeyore. He is a veteran of this tradition, this being the 11th year he has walked with us. And what a gentle donkey he is! Some of our children have a wonderful time feeding him snacks each year. Special thanks to Buffy Evans and the Chancel Choir, as Buffy always leads us in song as we walk up the street waiving our palms as a reenactment of Jesus making his way into Jerusalem.

    The services of Holy Week are always theologically important to me, and to all of us as Christians. If you have not been able to attend a Maundy Thursday or Good Friday worship service, I would ask you to consider doing so next year. The Thursday service is very moving as we remember Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, instituting the meal that is our sacrament of communion, and giving the disciples a new commandment to love one another (the word maundy comes from the Latin word for commandment). The Good Friday service is a somber service, but I think something that is significant for us even as we know about the joy of resurrection come Easter Sunday. There is something about reading the Passion narrative of Jesus and leaving a sanctuary in silence with Jesus having been taken down from the cross and laid in a borrowed tomb that increase my joy come resurrection day. I am also continually moved that we hold these services in partnership with two other congregations. We are all children of God and followers of Jesus Christ, and it is interesting to experience the traditions of other Christians.

    Easter Sunday was wonderful, from our outdoor sunrise service—we didn’t see the sun because of cloud cover but the early morning view of beautiful Cache Valley was stunning nonetheless—to the other worship services when Bruner Hall and the sanctuary were both packed with worshipers. Thank you to our Praise Band, Westminster Bell Choir, and Chancel Choir for the special music of that day. Closing out the day with the Hallelujah Chorus is always spectacular!

    Some of you are aware that I had knee surgery during Holy Week, on Tuesday, April 16, to cut away some torn meniscus from my left knee which I injured in November. Laura says that I am a bit crazy having surgery during Holy Week (and she isn’t wrong…), but I did not want to have the surgery during snowboarding season, and it also had to be after our trip to the Netherlands. So, Tuesday of Holy Week it was, in part because of the doctor’s availability. I was on crutches for a few days but was walking well on my own by Easter Sunday. It might be a month before I feel back to normal, but things are going quite well. Thank you for your care and concern.

    You might notice a few small changes around the church building. As part of our newly adopted Child Protection Policy we are installing glass windows on all our Sunday School classroom doors. This kind of safety precaution makes sense for children and adults alike. We’ve also fixed the loose railing on the stairs near the south sanctuary entrance. We strive to make sure that FPC is a safe and nurturing space for everyone.

    Please read the update about the Solar Panel and Roof Project.  Thank you to all who have pledged and contributed. I feel that we have the capability to raise the remaining funds, and I look forward to the coming months when we will decide about proceeding with the solar portion of this project.

    In this season of Eastertide may the grace, peace, and joy of Christ be with you all.                 Pastor Derek

  • Pages